People | Photos | Safety


Khmer people are generally friendly. Foreign visitors might be overwhelmed by “greetings”, such as “Tuk-tuk sir, madam” or “(motorbike) taxi, sir, madam”. If you don’t need one, just smile and say “no” without trying to engage in further communication.

It is a common local habit to throw out paper tissue (napkin) below tables in local restaurants or street food stalls after eating, so don’t be shocked if you see lots of used tissues (napkins) under your table.

While in many touristic areas, you might see numbers of beggars. Photos of local people of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Local drivers also like to honk, which probably means “watch out, I’m coming towards you”, while Tuk-tuk or motodup drivers might honk near you in order to get your attention.

For more on local culture and clothing, please see “Tips Cambodia”.

City teenagers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Locals in a market in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Village teenagers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia


Taking photos of certain areas, like military bases, is prohibited. It is advisable to ask permission if you want to take photos of monks, though usually they will be happy to pose for you.

Should you like to develop and print your photos, there are many photo printing and photocopy services in Phnom Penh, for instance along Street 110 (west of St. 19) in the northern part of the city and along Sihanouk Boulevard (just to the west of the Independence Monument) towards the southern part of Phnom Penh. It shouldn’t cost you more than 100 Riel for a page of photocopying (Riel exchange rate).

Kodak and Fuji are the two common brands in Phnom Penh’s photo services. Processing time depends on the numbers of prints, but usually it takes around one hour for a set of photos, though a few shops still need a full day to develop and print your photos. It costs you around 350 Riel per one print/paper.


Just like other cities in the world, crimes do exist too in Phnom Penh. However, a local report in early 2008 said social security and safety had been well maintained. Even though the local government of Phnom Penh city always keeps improving the city’s social security and safety, apart from other matters, it would always be good to be vigilant for pickpockets and other kinds of city petty crime.

While touring around the city, either on foot or by other means of transportation, given here is some common advice to keep you away from any unnecessary troubles, such as making sure that your backpack or camera is not easily “snatch-able” and your backpack is securely closed or locked, keeping your wallet, mobile phone or other important things that you need to carry with you in secure places, and so forth.

There is also the common advice in Phnom Penh to use cyclo or motodup that you already know to avoid troubles at night.

Also at night, visitors are advised not to walk alone in dark places, such as along the river side of Sisowath road (the Riverfront), where many areas in the Riverfront are not as brightly lit as the other side of the road, especially after 9pm-10pm.

For more general information and tips on Cambodia please click here: "More on Cambodia General information" and "More on Tips Cambodia".

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